We were due for a thrilling finish at the Slater Wildcat Classic, and I think it’s fair to say fans got their money’s worth tonight. Let’s take a lot at what happened.
Slater (G) 51, Fayette 35: Earlier today, I said this would be a close game. Instead, this game was more of a step back than a step forward for Fayette. Slater picked apart Fayette’s defense on the weak side frequently in the first half and by the middle of the third quarter, the Lady Falcons had to switch to man-to-man to avoid picking up more fouls on the weak side. Fayette also committed 25 turnovers by my count, while Slater only had 12 turnovers. The one bright side for Fayette was that players had no trouble drawing fouls and were aggressively attacking the basket. Clara Beaman alone went 11-of-16 at the free-throw line and finished with a team-high 13 points. The rest of the team shot just 4-of-12 at the line, adding up to 15-of-28 as a team. The thing is, Fayette had a hard time scoring tonight unless it was at the free-throw line. There was a time when Fayette went 14-plus minutes without a field goal, which is when Slater pulled away. Samantha Conrow added 10 points and Haleigh Strodtman had another double-digit rebounding performance, grabbing 11 boards to go with nine points. That ends Fayette’s week at the tournament, and now the Lady Falcons have to travel to Prairie Home — the No. 2 team in Class 1 — on Monday.
Santa Fe (G) 70, Pilot Grove 38: Santa Fe is rolling right through this tournament. This game had a running clock for most of the fourth quarter. If I remember correctly, I believe Greg Schmidt said Cara Hinz led Santa Fe with 29 points, and that includes nine 3-pointers. Wowza! I don’t think anyone is surprised that Santa Fe will get a chance to defend its tournament title on Saturday. Read below to see which team the Lady Chiefs will face.
Glasgow (G) 52, Marshall 51: Regardless of talent on either program, it’s a big deal when a Class 1 school beats a Class 4 school. These two teams met last year in the third-place game, with Marshall rallying in the second half to beat Glasgow 49-43. We almost saw another fourth-quarter breakdown by the Lady Jackets, who led 42-34 after three quarters. Glasgow led the entire game until the 2:49 mark of the fourth quarter, when Marshall’s Kassidy Heying hit the Lady Owls’ eighth 3-pointer of the game to make the score 49-47 in Marshall’s favor. Glasgow answered on the other end with a lob pass from Tara Fuemmeler to Jaden Monnig for the easy basket to tie the score with 2:16 to play. Marshall committed a turnover while trying to run off a huge chunk of the clock and Glasgow retook the lead on another Fuemmeler-to-Monnig connection with 57 seconds left. Heying hit a shot in the lane to tie the score at 51-51, setting up the down-to-the-wire theatrics. Glasgow called two timeouts as a result of Marshall’s full-court pressure, but the Lady Jackets drew up one last play to get the ball to point guard Anne Reynolds, who drove the lane and was fouled with 6.3 seconds left. Reynolds, who had made just 6-of-18 free throws in Glasgow’s two previous games, missed the first attempt. With the Marshall student section yelling at the top of its lungs, Reynolds got the second shot to fall, giving the Lady Jackets a one-point lead. Marshall had to go the distance of the floor and Emily Tobin had an open look on a drive to the basket, but instead she passed the ball to Taylor Crawford for an 18-foot jumper along the left baseline. The shot was off the mark and Devyn Yung pulled in the rebound as time expired, leaving Glasgow with the one-point win. Glasgow didn’t avert from its usual offensive plan, getting the ball to Monnig via the lob pass as often as possible. By my count, 12 of her team-high 18 points were assisted through lob passes from the perimeter. Glasgow also shot well from 3-point range, taking very few attempts but still hitting four threes. Meanwhile, Marshall knocked down eight triples against Glasgow’s zone defense, which allowed the Lady Owls to make their charge in the fourth quarter. Reynolds finished with nine points, as did Tara Fuemmeler. The rest of the schedule for the girls bracket is as follows:
- 5th place: No. 6 Sacred Heart vs. No. 5 Slater, 5 p.m. Friday
- 3rd place: No. 4 Pilot Grove vs. No. 3 Marshall, 8 p.m. Friday
- 1st place: No. 2 Glasgow vs. No. 1 Santa Fe, 2:30 p.m. Saturday
I’d say the seeds for the tournament played out as expected, wouldn’t you?
On a side note from tonight’s Glasgow-Marshall, I will say that was an impressive display of support by both teams’ student sections, which you won’t see too often in high school girls basketball. The Glasgow boys basketball team occupied the first couple of rows underneath the right side of the basket, while the Marshall students filled the bleachers under the left side of the basket. However, it won’t surprise me if the Marshall school office receives more than a phone call or two tomorrow from Glasgow fans concerning the Owls’ student section. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the “You can’t do that,” the “You got swatted,” and the “She’s a freshman” chants. In fact, I’d rather hear those chants than see a silent group of kids. But when you’re cursing in unison — and in a rather loud fashion — at practically every close call by the referees that goes against your team, that’s far too extreme for high school basketball. Honestly, even yelling at the top of your lungs as Anne Reynolds shoots her free throws was probably a little too much, but it didn’t seem to bother her tonight. That’s just my two cents, though.